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"Yippee-ki-yay, Mr. Falcon." Microsoft prepares 65nm chips for Xbox 360

When it comes to Microsoft's Xbox 360, Dean Takahashi always seems to have the inside scoop. He was the first to spill the beans on Xbox 360 IPTV and provided confirmation on the existence of the Xbox 360 Elite.

Today, Takahashi confirmed that Microsoft's upcoming 65nm die shrink for the Xbox 360's microprocessor and GPU is codenamed "Falcon." Takahashi reports that Microsoft is currently qualifying the new Falcon chips along with a redesigned motherboard. The 65nm-equipped Xbox 360s are due to hit store shelves this fall.

The new chips are not only smaller and roughly 50 percent cheaper to produce than their 90nm counterpart, but they are also cooler. Cooler-running chips coupled with a revised cooling solution would go a long way to eradicating the Xbox 360’s fatal flaw: the Red Ring of Death (RROD).

Heat has been a big problem with the Xbox 360 and has been the root cause of RROD cases around the globe. Microsoft has countered the RROD failures by increasing the warranty of the console, adding various "warranty enhancements" and beefed up cooling solutions on new production Xbox 360 units.

Microsoft ultimately caved in to mounting pressure from the Xbox 360 community on RROD failures and announced a $1 billion initiative to service Xbox 360s afflicted with the problem and extended warranty coverage for those machines to three years.



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And so it begins.
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/9/2007 2:29:01 PM , Rating: 2
I would bet that people sending in for RROD cases once this is released, might end up getting one of these back, thus dropping the 1 billion USD hit they could potentially take. Not to mention that it should put an end to the RROD on the new systems.




RE: And so it begins.
By zombiexl on 7/9/2007 2:34:39 PM , Rating: 5
Then everyone and their brother will be running their 360's in shoe boxes to get the RROD to get the new model.


RE: And so it begins.
By sviola on 7/9/2007 2:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
Now all they need to do is provide the change to all Xbox, add a $100 price cut and they'll be really close to competing with the Wii and taking Sony into despair.


RE: And so it begins.
By peritusONE on 7/9/2007 4:34:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Now all they need to do is provide the change to all Xbox, add a $100 price cut and they'll be really close to competing with the Wii and taking Sony into despair.

I've said it plenty of times before, and I'll say it again. Microsoft and Sony are not directly competing with the Wii. They are not going after the same demographic. The sales of the Wii just aren't that important to the success of the 360 and PS3 IMO.


RE: And so it begins.
By Rampage on 7/9/07, Rating: 0
RE: And so it begins.
By ObscureCaucasian on 7/9/2007 11:34:41 PM , Rating: 2
They have very little to appeal to the Wii's demographic..... except for Vivia Pinata. They need many more titles like that before any stereotypical Wii owner will want a 360.

I love the 360, but I realize that it just isn't appealing to non-gamers at this point. Perhaps Microsoft's next console will have something that will appeal to non-gamers.


RE: And so it begins.
By bkm32 on 7/10/2007 12:43:53 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, you mean people that play videogames (casual or otherwise), watch movies, and use the Internet?

quote:
Microsoft and Sony are not directly competing with the Wii. They are not going after the same demographic. The sales of the Wii just aren't that important to the success of the 360 and PS3 IMO.


That is one of the stupidest things I've ever read. It's up there Mr. Tretton's:

quote:
If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it.


Have IQs dropped suddenly. Nintendo is not only expanding the market, but has also penetrated the "hardcore" community. Moreover, MS is definitely going after the Japanese demographic as is Sony. Nintendo is kicking both of their butts, 6-to-1 and 15-to-1, Sony and MS, respectively.

If MS and Sony weren't in direct competiton with Nintendo, then the proliferation of "casual" and arcade-type games wouldn't exist on the XBL and PSN.

Wake up and smell the humiliation.


RE: And so it begins.
By EarthsDM on 7/9/2007 3:42:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not to mention that it should put an end to the RROD on the new systems.


It think that most RROD cases are caused by the GPU overheating, not the CPU. MS has to make sure all the new boxes actually get a GPU cooler so they don't die. I'm still waiting for my MacBook Pro (which I love) to be recalled so it can get a GPU cooler, too.


RE: And so it begins.
By psychobriggsy on 7/9/2007 4:20:59 PM , Rating: 2
Assuming the 33% rate is correct, and the cost of a new motherboard and shipping to and from the end user for the 360 is $150 to Microsoft, and that they will have sold 15m consoles with the current faulty design by the time this new design comes out, you're looking at 5 million replacements * $150 which is $750m.

Of those replacements, 33% will need to be replaced. That's 1.7 million consoles, or $250m. Total so far: $1b.

Of those replacements, 33% will need to be replaced. That's 500k, or $75m ... and so on.

You can argue the replacement policy for Microsoft only costs them $100 per device (but quite clearly they take in the console, replace the motherboard entirely - CPU, GPU, Memory, Chips, coolers, and so on, and ship it out again later as refurbished) but it could cost $200. You can also argue that the failure rate is far less than the 33% figure that is being bounded around. You can argue that the refurbished consoles have a far higher likelihood of failure too. Lots of variables, but whatever, Microsoft think it will cost them $1b overall and I bet that is with the new console fixing the issue for once and for all.


RE: And so it begins.
By Parhel on 7/9/2007 5:19:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with you. I'm sure MS took all of the information we have available and a lot that we don't into consideration before throwing out a figure like 1 billion dollars. Their shareholders don't want to hear that kind of stuff so they have a large motivator to understate the problem. If they said 1 billion, I bet it's at least that much after all factors are taken into account.


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